Honoring Women’s History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month, some of our female partners and business leaders in the Seaport District share stories about the women of history who have inspired them the most.
Founder, Malibu Farm
The fastest woman of all time: Florence Griffith. Why an athlete? I think we can be inspired by true training, persistence, hard work, and never giving up. The only way to accomplish anything is to push forward no matter how hard it is, or how tired we are. Physical forward motion represents change, hope, and accomplishing clear goals.
Founder, Lyons Den Power Yoga
Ayn Rand. She was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She was an independent thinker, unafraid of critics and spoke up—as a woman—in many ways that had never been done before. She believed in real liberty, passion and the choice of the individual. I don’t agree with everything she had to say, but I appreciate her thought process and courage across the board.
Atlas Shrugged, which she wrote, is my favorite book of all time. And my most favorite quote of all time comes from her as well:
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
I’ve always worked and lived by the mantra, “if it is to be, it is up to me.” Rosa Parks personifies this saying. Knowing right from wrong, she stood (or sat) her ground and from her actions, the civil liberties movement was reinvigorated. She remains one of the most important figures representing not only civil liberties, but any time any one person stands up against an institution for what they believe is right in this world.
Founder, 10 Corso Como
The woman who has inspired me the most is Theodora.
My dream has always been to make books. I started a publishing company in 1989—the symbol is Theodora. While I am supposed to be talking about women that have inspired me, I was also greatly inspired by a letter from my Father. He wrote to remind me that Theodora was a lesson for life. Her will to win was stronger than her fear of loss. Of humble origins, she became the wife of the Emperor Justinian and, at a time of extreme civil conflict in the Imperial city of Constantinople, when all seemed lost and everyone was abandoning the city and the Emperor, Theodora was said to speak the words:
“In my opinion, flight is not the right course, even if it should bring us to safety. It is impossible for a person, having been born into this world, not to die; but it is intolerable to be a fugitive. If you wish to save yourself, my lord, there is no difficulty. I gladly exchange such safety for death. As for me, I agree with the adage that the royal purple is the noblest shroud.”
Theodora saved the Byzantine Empire. Justinian would go on to completely rebuild the Church of Hagia Sophia, today one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures in Istanbul; Theodora would go on to raise the legal status of women and establish protections for their health and welfare in the city, and throughout the Empire.